BASE DETAILS – ESSAY
In the poem, "Base Details", SiegFried Sassoon expresses his great disgust towards the majors in the military. He is horrified and appalled at the way the majors act while men are dying out in the battle field. Mr. Sassoon is so furious towards the majors that it takes more than just one word to describe how indignified Sassoon is. These great feelings of anger are derived from the fact that the majors are living a life of luxury while sending young men "up the line" out into the battle field. This is all suggested in the title of the poem with the word "base" suggesting a military base, and/or a base person. And the word "details" suggesting a command, an assignment, and something or someone lowly. "Base Details" is a poem which expresses the feelings of the author towards military majors using differentiable types of imagery.
The poem begins by Sassoon describing the majors as demanding, mean, and belligerent men. Bald, out-of-shape and full of gluttony. Sassoon categorizes the majors under the word scarlet signifying childless, bright redness from excessive drinking and yelling of anger. Sassoon presents to us the fact of the majors sending up the young men as soon as they are drafted "up the line to death." This attitude taken from the majors is what angers Sassoon to the point of hatred.
To convince the reader of such horrific truth, Sassoon describes how disrespectful the majors are with their "puffy petulant faces" from eating and drinking excessively. Sassoon states how the majors are stuffing their faces and "Reading the Roll of Honor" in safe luxurious hotels while men are dying out on the field. For this, Sassoon feels so contemptuous towards the majors for they are demanding but hypocritical. They give out strict orders and boss soldiers around while they sit down and be tyrannical. They are just so barbaric and arrogant and show so much disrespect for those who have died in battle that it is not only ridicules to Sassoon but probably for the reader as well.
It is just so unbelievable how these majors can sit scarlet and short of breath belittling and not recognizing the heroic actions of the men in the battle field by referring to them as "poor young chaps." When in comfort smoking their cigars, they use words which are definitely not suitable for the conditions. It is a disgrace for the families of the young men and totally cold-hearted on the side of the majors. To make matters worse, the majors have the intolerance of stating that they were to "toddle safely home and die–in bed, when the war was done and youth stone dead." The attitudes the majors have are so childlike and belligerent and that is the reason for Sassoon being so scornful and mocking. As previously mentioned, it does not just make Sassoon so satirical but it also makes the reader undergo through the same feelings.
Sassoon has written a poem which contains lots of significance within just a few lines. It is amazing how one word can have many different meanings and can express a certain feeling or feelings which is one of the tactics used by Mr. SiegFried Sassoon. Sassoon has exposed to the public the cruelty amongst human beings and how shameless society can get. It is a very clear poem when it comes to explaining life as a major and life as a soldier at battle. Once again, the bitterness which is felt toward the majors by Sassoon and possibly the reader cannot be expressed enough. It is that ironic that the majors are irritable and demanding but lazy and self-indulgent.